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Rogue Barrister Black Widow's financial advisor Patrick Russell the subject of hard hitting RTÉ probe


Disgraced barrister Patrick Russell scammed at least 20 people including country star Declan Nurney out of more than €8m an explosive new RTÉ investigation will claim. 

Tonight, the national broadcaster will screen The Wolf of the Midlands, a forensic look at one of Ireland’s most controversial legal figures and fraudsters.

For decades Patrick Russell (57) has been a controversial figure in Irish society turning his hand at political activism and famously working with former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

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Patrick Russell

Patrick Russell

Patrick Russell

He has worked as a barrister, a publican and even a financial advisor to convicted murderer 'The Black Widow' Catherine Nevin.

However, earlier this month, he became a prisoner after being jailed for four years with one year suspended for stealing €215,000 from Kildare businessman Paul O'Connell.

RTÉ’s investigations team claim to have spoken to over 60 men and women that Patrick Russell allegedly defrauded of more than €8million.

The programme claims that Russell's victims came from all over Ireland and from all walks of life - some of whom speak out for the very first time in this powerful documentary.

They include Westmeath musician Paud Griffin who hired Russell as a tax advisor.

According to RTE, Russell scammed Mr Griffin out of his life savings, a total of €580,000. Paud Griffin passed away in 2019.

The programme also claims he conned another entertainer, Declan Nerney, out of over €900,000 and took €800,000 from an Offaly businesswoman.

It is further alleged that he took another €500,000 from a doctor in the midlands.

In an alleged property scam, he is also accused of taking €400,000 from pro golfer Damien McGrane and €100,000 from a Dublin-based barrister.

Russell, a former Sinn Fein activist, used his position as a barrister to gain the trust and confidence of people hoping to improve their situation in life.

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David McDonald is another alleged victim who hired Russell as a tax advisor.

It is claimed by RTE that the rogue barrister took €775,000 from his companies which was supposed to be handed to the Revenue Commissioners.

Russell is accused of suppling fake receipts on Revenue-headed notepaper to David McDonald including a letter acknowledging that the money received was in full and final settlement of all tax liabilities.

The relief was short-lived however as three months later David McDonald received liquidation papers in the post informing him Revenue was applying to the High Court to wind up one of his companies, for unpaid tax liabilities.

Watch RTÉ Investigates: Barrister & Conman – The Patrick Russell Story tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.

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